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Taming the unquiet mind

Cheryl's Musings: Taming the unquiet mind

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Taming the unquiet mind

It's a warm, windy day today, the kind where rippling leaves and waving branches break sunlight into ever-moving patterns--a perfectly beautiful day to curl up in a patch of sunlight and write. I have the time, I have forward momentum on a story rewrite, and I have a relatively peaceful place to work...and yet I'm having trouble beginning.

This happens sometimes. My mind refuses to settle. I was up late last night working; today, I have a sick kid worrying at one corner of my brain, a hundred potential "to-do's" clamoring for whatever attention remains. Despite my best intentions, despite turning my mind back to the task at hand a hundred times, I can't seem to skip past the standard host of writerly doubts.

Time to try a new tactic. A change of project? A walk, perhaps? (The dogs vote yes, but my mom-voice urges me to stay home with sick kid). Yoga? Meditation? Or maybe it's time to read a great book? Or run errands and silence some of those never-ending to-do's?

Maybe my mind needs to regroup for the next bout of creativity. Trust the process--I can hold onto that. I'll have a bit of yoga, I think, to settle my mind; and then I'll take another running start and see if I can get past my current writing hurdle, which is really more about my mind than my words. But then, maybe that's always the case.

Happy writing :)


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At November 8, 2008 at 4:03 PM , Blogger Sarah Laurenson said...

Having some of the same problems settling myself. I think I might go back to writing morning pages. Three handwritten pages of stream of consciousness, or a set amount of time at the computer. It clears all the crap out of my head and lets me move on.

At November 8, 2008 at 5:03 PM , Blogger Cheryl Reif said...

Hi Sarah--That's a really good idea for me, too. I'd forgotten that technique--it's especially good for when I have a lot whirling through my mind.

What ended up working for me? I left the house and spent an hour at a nearby coffee shop. I'm not sure why, but the hustle and bustle--and being elsewhere--freed my mind to think story.

At November 8, 2008 at 11:08 PM , Blogger Sarah Laurenson said...

White noise distraction can help a lot. I would think a coffee shop would provide a lot of white noise.

I like to write with classical music playing. Keeps part of my brain elsewhere and there are no lyrics to take up too much of my attention.

I'm glad you found your answer.


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